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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) announced that it had begun shipping Ultrastar 15K147 hard drives with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and 4Gb/s Fibre Channel (4GFC) interfaces, which marks the initial commercial availability of Serial Attached SCSI hard disk drives.

The 3.5” Ultrastar 15K147 is Hitachi’s highest-performing product that delivers average seek times as fast as 3.3ms, average latency of 2ms thanks to 15 000rpm motor speed and 16MB data buffer. According to Hitachi GST, the HDD’s maximum internal transfer rate is 1129 Mb/s, while maximum sustained data transfer rate 93.3MB/s. The new drives are available in 36GB, 73GB and 147GB capacities.

SAS supports data transfer rates of up to 3Gb/s and full duplex, point-to-point connections so that each drive has a dedicated connection to the host. While parallel SCSI limited users to 15 drives per controller, SAS architecture supports up to 16 384 connections for much greater scalability.

4GFC hard drives have been designed for use in storage area networking, file sharing, workgroup and scientific/engineering environments. The interface standard allows for a data transfer rate of up to 400MB/s half-duplex and up to 800MB/s full-duplex, per port. The higher performance 4GFC interface is fully backward compatible with 2Gb/s and 1Gb/s hardware and has all of the same robust enterprise features as its predecessors, at twice the data transfer rate performance.

Hitachi will begin shipping Ultrastar 15K147 drives with SAS and 4GFC interfaces this month and will be in full volume production by the end of July.

In early April, 2005, Maxtor, another maker of HDDs, announced sampling of SAS HDDs.

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